From the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce:
The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce opposes North Dakota Measure 2 which seeks to eliminate property taxes statewide. The measure will appear on the June 2012 statewide ballot.
Measure 2, as currently set forth, complete eliminates a major funding source for North Dakota government. Accordingly, the complete repeal of property taxation by Measure 2 will be a major disruption of the foundation of North Dakota's economic model.
While eliminating property taxes sounds appealing, they are an essential component of local governmental control. The Chamber does not support amending the state constitution to eliminate the ability of local jurisdictions to generate revenue to provide services.
"To eliminate an entire source of revenue for nearly 3,000 political subdivisions without an approved methodology to replace that funding is dangerous," said Craig Whitney, President and CEO of The Chamber. "Instead, we need to explore alternative, sustainable revenue sources in order to lower the tax burden on property owners."
Eliminating property taxes will open the door to raising other taxes such as personal and corporate income taxes and sales taxes.. The measure also identifies other entities that could be taxed such as oil and gas, financial institutions and state lottery. If one tax is too high, shifting the tax burden to already taxed sources is not the answer.
The Chamber values and supports the citizen initiative process and encourages voters to get involved in in finding a more responsible approach for property tax reform and relief.
Committed to educating voters on the property tax measure, The Chamber will engage members in future conversations as additional information about this measure's impact emerge.